Making Communication Convenient for Rural India

by Divya Makhija    May 15, 2018

pganguly

Indian smartphone manufacturer Britzo is looking to catalyze rural digitization by unleashing low-cost smartphones specifically for the rural population. Under the ‘Make in India’ program, Britzo has already launched its smartphone iVVO, followed by a slew of other launches in the budget segment. CXOToday recently caught up with Pradipto Ganguly, Co-Founder and CEO, Britzo, who explains how the smartphone maker plans to revolutionize the Indian market.

CXOToday: Tell us something about the objective of Britzo.

Pradipto Ganguly: Britzo’s endeavor was to bring the Digital Revolution to the hands of Real India. Followed by long brainstorming sessions, we envisaged our plan to get into the market with our own Indian handset brand and Britzo Communications got registered in December 2017. We recruited the best talent and have a cumulative experience of 200 years in handset industry. Our end-to-end products are targeted at and designed keeping in mind the consumers in tier-III, tier-IV, and tier-V markets. We aim to revolutionize the way Rural India communicates, become leaders in feature phone industry, known for innovation, quality & service and be ethical, socially responsible and environment Friendly.

CXOToday: How do you plan to revolutionize the Indian market and what are your plans to tap the Indian market?

Pradipto Ganguly: Our phones are made for Indian Masses. We envision enabling a convenient access to the customers across socio economic spectrum. Last month, we launched our smartphone brand “iVVO” followed by the rollout of eight smart 2G feature phones segmented across five product categories; BEATZ, PRIMO, SELFEE, TUFF, and VOLT as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. All of the launched products are priced from Rs 649 to Rs 5,999.

The launch plan is to register our presence in 17 states – UP, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, NESA, Gujarat, post which by end of Q1, we intend to establish ourselves pan India. We are looking at bringing a smarter experience of customized operating software – iVVO Smart Store - giving access to relevant apps & download of songs & videos, games along with inbuilt memory, powerful battery and a peace of mind with our strong service policies. We promise a 201-day replacement warranty & 455 days product warranty.

CXOToday: What are your key offerings?

Pradipto Ganguly: We have recently launched our smart mobile phone brand ‘iVVO’ in India. The brand launch has been followed by the rollout of seven Smart 2G Feature Phones, segmented across five product categories, namely BEATZ, PRIMO, SELFEE, TUFF and VOLT.

Our Feature phones are enabled with innovative features bringing a smarter experience to the consumer - like app download on 2G handsets, in built memory, powerful battery along-with a 201-day Replacement Policy & 455 day product warranty.

We will also be launching two smartphones under the product category ‘Storm Pro’ & ‘Storm Lite’. The handsets are on the latest Android Go – Oreo 8.1 software with top specifications like Face Recognition unlock, Shatterproof screen, 8mp Selfie camera with dual flash & 8mp rear camera with auto focus along with a onetime screen replacement within 365days & 455 day product warranty. We are also planning to launch our 4G Feature Phone under the series ‘Skipper’.

CXOToday: Who is your go-to-market customer and what are your marketing plans pertaining to them?

Pradipto Ganguly: We are focusing on tier 3/4/5 markets – the Real India. Our marketing plans are clearly rural centric encompassing customized Below the Line activities with presence in rural haats, nukkad nataks, tapping localized modes of communications.

CXOToday: What are your hiring plans for the year 2018-19?

Pradipto Ganguly: We are not into a hiring spree and intend to keep it light at the top, with very experienced people handing key responsibilities. We are done with HO recruitments. We are now hiring Sales Force at the state level; however we would be very judicious at that. Only focus area for recruitments, now is R&D and Service Engineers

CXOToday: How do you plan to bank on your channel partners?

Pradipto Ganguly: We are banking on the traditional model of channel distribution. We have entrusted our faith in the traditional model of 4 tier model: Super Distributor -> Distributor ->Retailer -> End Consumer

We are also contemplating on partnering with a major online player who has got high level penetrations in rural audience. For the smart-phone we are looking at a blend of both online & offline mode of distribution.

CXOToday: What are your views on the R&D and the market of low-cost phones in India?

Pradipto Ganguly: We intend to invest Rs. 100 crore on indigenous development of products & would be investing in for R&D to be able to take advantage of the technology advancements for the use of Indian consumers. Over the last couple of years telecom industry has seen a paradigm shift. The smart-phone market is now concentrated amongst 4 players & interestingly, in the last 3-4 quarters the features phone volumes have not dropped. This shows the shift and rebirth of a new category of phones - the Smarter Feature Phone or the 4G Feature Phone. India is a huge market and each player who has a right offering can find their place in this market.

CXOToday: What’s your growth plans for the next 12 months?

Pradipto Ganguly: The Launch plan is to register our presence in 17 states – UP, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, NESA, Gujarat, post which by end of Q1 we intend to establish ourselves PAN India. By 2019 we intend to diversify into smart consumer appliances.